Mary Lou Retton - 2016 Past WLF-IS Speaker | Judson University Christian College

WLF Inspirational Series WITH MARY LOU RETTON

MONDAY, OCTOBER 10 AT 7:00 P.M.

Herrick Chapel at Judson University in Elgin, Illinois

Judson University welcomed American gymnast and Olympic champion Mary Lou Retton as our keynote speaker for the World Leaders Forum Inspirational Series. The Chicagoland community joined Judson leaders and students in hearing Retton’s inspiring message of faith, optimism and leadership.

MARY LOU RETTON INSPIRES JOY AT JUDSON UNIVERSITY

WLF IS 2016 Mary Lou Retton
Photos courtesy of Judson University.

View Photos from the event.

(ELGIN, IL – October 10, 2016) Olympic gold medalist Mary Lou Retton has been retired from gymnastics for more than 30 years, but tonight Chicagoland learned why her message continues to inspire people decades later. Capturing hearts with her zest for a joyful life, she spoke to an audience of approximately 300 people at Judson University as part of Judson’s annual World Leaders Forum Inspirational Series.

“Gold medalist gymnasts aren’t supposed to come from small West Virginia coal mining towns, but I was presented with an opportunity and I went for it,” Retton told the crowd. “When you are presented with a doorway of opportunity, you have to enter and push through – because you don’t know if that door will be in front of you again.”

Retton also answered questions from Judson students and other audience members. The topics included her 1984 gold medal experience, her story of overcoming obstacles and adversity, the role of faith in sports, the importance of maintaining a positive attitude, and advice for young athletes.

“Mary Lou Retton radiates happiness, and she connects to people not just through her athletic success, but through her belief in the power of faith and optimism,” said Judson University President Dr. Gene Crume. “She truly embodies the motivational spirit of the World Leaders Forum Inspirational Series.”

Mary Lou Retton catapulted to international fame in 1984, when she became the first American ever to win the Olympic all-around gold medal in women’s gymnastics. Additionally, she won silver medals in the team and vault competitions, and bronze medals for uneven bars and floor exercise. Her five medals were the most won by any athlete at the 1984 Olympic Games. She was honored as the Sports Illustrated Sportswoman of the Year and the Associated Press Amateur Athlete of the Year in 1984.

Retton went on to become a worldwide motivational speaker and fitness ambassador for good nutrition and regular exercise. She has served as the national chairperson for the Children’s Miracle Network Board of Governors, as a commentator at the 1988 and 1996 Olympic Games, and in several other media roles. Retton also is the author of Mary Lou Retton’s Gateways to Happiness: 7 Ways to a More Peaceful, More Accomplished, More Satisfying Life. She and her husband have four daughters.

PRESS COVERAGE

DAILY HERALD - "Mary Lou Retton at Judson: I achieved what I always dreamed of "

DAILY HERALD - "Mary Lou Retton on being 'America's sweetheart,' retiring at 18"

CHICAGO TRIBUNE - "'Meeting challenges' won Retton Olympic gold, she tells Judson crowd"

ABOUT MARY LOU RETTON
IS Mary Lou Retton

MARY LOU RETTON

1984 Gold Olympic Medal Winner

Retton catapulted to international fame when she won the all-around gold medal in women’s gymnastics at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. She was the first American woman to ever do so. Additionally, she won silver medals in the team and vault competitions, and bronze medals for uneven bars and floor exercise. Her five medals were the most won by any athlete at the 1984 Olympics. She was honored as the Sports Illustrated Sportswoman of the Year and the Associated Press Amateur Athlete of the Year in 1984.

Retton has since become a worldwide motivational speaker and fitness ambassador for good nutrition and regular exercise. She has served as the national chairperson for the Children’s Miracle Network Board of Governors, as a commentator at the 1988 and 1996 Olympic Games, and in several other media roles. She also is the author of Mary Lou Retton’s Gateways to Happiness: 7 Ways to a More Peaceful, More Accomplished, More Satisfying Life. Retton and her husband, former Texas Longhorns quarterback Shannon Kelley, have four daughters.

 
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